(Neb)-Four Arrested In Scottsbluff Prostitution Sting
SCOTTSBLUFF - Scottsbluff Police Chief Kevin Spencer says a multi-agency sex trafficking sting in the Panhandle resulted in the arrest Saturday of 4 men in Scottsbluff. Spencer says the sting was part of a proactive initiative targeting individuals trying to buy sex from adult or minor females.
64-year old Marty Houser of Scottsbluff and 20-year old Benjamin Rein of Torrington, are both charged with single felony counts of Solicitation and Sex Trafficking plus a misdemeanor count of solicitation. Bail for each is $50,000.
25-year old Brent Tinnell of Minatare is being held on $25,000 bond on a misdemeanor solicitation charge and a felony count of drug possession while 47-year old Alfredo Castro of Wheat Ridge, Colo, faces a single count of misdemeanor solicitation with bail at $15,000.
Chief Spencer says the Panhandle Regional Team of the Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force handled the investigation with 9 agencies participating: the Scottsbluff, Gering, Sidney, and Alliance police departments, Scotts Bluff County Sheriff's Office, Nebraska State Patrol, Scotts Bluff County Attorney's Office, Nebraska Attorney General's Office, and the Salvation Army.
Court documents say undercover investigators posted advertisements on the internet such as "Let us make your fantasy come true," and "Female looking to play." Those responding texted to agree on prices and set up a meeting, only to be arrested upon arrival.
The documents say Houser and Rein both agreed to pay $300 to have sex with a 15-year-old girl and her mother, while Castro agreed to pay $80 for 4 hours of sex. Tinnell was to pay $20 for a sex act, but also had a small amount of methamphetamine on him.
Chief Spencer considers it a "pronounced success" made possible by the hard work and cooperation of all those involved, adding that he's "always impressed and proud of the professionalism of area and state law enforcement officials who are willing to come together to make a difference."
The Nebraska Legislature stiffened the state laws covering sex crimes last year with harsher penalties and by allowing the prosecution as a trafficker with a penalty of 20 years to life in prison of anyone soliciting a minor for sex .
The Sex Trafficking Task Force Panhandle Team says it will continue to thoroughly investigate, arrest, and prosecute anyone involved in Human Trafficking with the hope that this weekend's 4 arrests will deter others.
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